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Published on November 8th, 2012 | by Kira


View­Son­ic Smart Dis­play: Great Touch­screen, But Size Isn’t Ev­ery­thing

Do you ev­er get an­noyed by how small your phone’s screen is? How about your iPad or An­droid tablet? Is big­ger al­ways bet­ter? We’re not sure that there is one sin­gle cor­rect an­swer to the ques­tion, but per­haps it’s not on­ly the size that mat­ters.

To­day, we’ve been play­ing with the a gad­get that we first got wind of a few months ago. The idea seemed sound: a mon­i­tor with a touch­screen that had a built-in com­put­er, us­ing An­droid 4.0 (Ice Cream Sand­wich). Let us in­tro­duce you to the View­Son­ic VS­D220, which is es­sen­tial­ly a large (18.8 inch­es by 10.6 inch­es screen) all-in-one stand-alone tablet. If you are a gad­get head who likes to test out all the new toys as they come out you will not want to pass this one up, but we do un­der­stand those who find them­selves ask­ing the ques­tion of ex­act­ly who needs some­thing like this. Af­ter all, it’s the size of a large desk­top mon­i­tor, meant to be sta­tion­ary since it does not come with a bat­tery. Even the pow­er cord is rather short.

The sys­tem is like any tablet, app based, with a store. And most of the ex­pect­ed ba­sics are there- a sol­id web brows­er in Chrome, a doc­u­ment ed­i­tor that can han­dle Word files, and a very ba­sic movie ed­i­tor- com­bine to make it feel like a lit­tle more like a nor­mal com­put­er. In ad­di­tion, the View­Son­ic has USB slots and Blue­tooth if you de­cide you want to con­nect a key­board and mouse, or ex­ter­nal stor­age. You’re not get­ting much built-in stor­age, but can add ad­di­tion­al quite sim­ply. The touch key­board is siz­able and very easy to use, just not great for longer in­put work since the VS­D220 sits up­right on the in­clud­ed stand. It was easy to use, but we wouldn’t want to com­pose doc­u­ments with our wrists in the air.

The screen is set­up very sim­i­lar to oth­er An­droid de­vices, with screens you can or­ga­nize and swipe through. Any app you can down­load for your An­droid you can down­load for your View­Son­ic. This means you can have the biggest most epic game of An­gry Birds ev­er! We did, how­ev­er, find that the down­load­ing and up­load­ing was a lit­tle slow.

It comes with a 720p cam­era/we­b­cam, which let’s you record video, pic­tures, or com­mu­ni­cate with oth­ers. You can see the video record­ed be­low, and lis­ten to our opin­ion of the we­b­cam here.

Like the we­b­cam, I found the crisp­ness and bright­ness of the dis­play rather poor. Com­par­ing with Reti­na dis­plays is un­fair, but even against oth­er nor­mal mon­i­tors at 1920 x 1080, we found text in­dis­tinct and videos less than sharp, and a lit­tle jit­tery. The pro­ces­sor run­ning ev­ery­thing be­hind the scenes is on­ly a du­al-core ARM Cor­tex-A9 1GHz, slow­er than most new­er smart­phones, and def­i­nite­ly a bit slug­gish, and the sin­gle gi­gag­byte of in­clud­ed RAM can’t help. It’s an in­ter­est­ing pack­age for the price- a de­cent mon­i­tor and pret­ty re­spon­sive touch­screen built around some so-so hard­ware in­ter­nals and a slight­ly old­er ver­sion of An­droid (no up­dates to 4.1 Jel­ly Bean are avail­able).

For a kitchen, it’s great to look up recipes on- but a tablet is still of­ten a bet­ter op­tion. For gamers, it’s hard to use, con­sid­er­ing the stand­ing screen. Pho­tog­ra­phers might find it tempt­ing, since it can dis­play pho­tos nice­ly, but we weren’t thrilled by the sharp­ness or clar­i­ty of the screen. Those look­ing for com­mer­cial or re­tail in­ter­ac­tive sig­nage might be in luck- we can see this be­ing great for ser­vice providers with wait­ing rooms. Avail­able now on­line and in stores for just un­der $400, View­Son­ic has come up with an in­ter­est­ing first gen­er­a­tion of a new cat­e­go­ry.

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About the Author

Former neuroscientist, and now fashion photographer, Kira is a perfect fit for TrulyNet. She has a great understanding of what is hot, loves the new geeky toys, and has the academic background to be opinionated on it. Kira is well traveled, has lived in Australia and Canada for school. Loves the outdoors, biking, all types of art, and is completely obsessed with fashion and photographing it. She presently can be found in New York City at an art event, art gallery, museum, science talk, one of the NYC parks, a vegetarian friendly restaurant, a comic book store, or out getting bubble tea. She is a little obsessed with bubble tea.

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